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Australia’s greatest war hero hits back at ‘bullies’ and ‘cowards’ within the army over allegations

Australia’s highest-decorated soldier has fired back at those who have accused him of bullying, violence against women and even shocking war crimes, categorically denying the sensational claims made by ‘cowards’ within his own ranks.

Ben Roberts-Smith, 39, was awarded the Commonwealth’s highest bravery honour, the Victoria Cross, in 2010

He received the Medal of Gallantry for his courage during a battle in Afghanistan’s Chora Valley four years earlier, followed by a Commendation for Distinguished Service.

He has previously been named Father of the Year, was appointed chairman of the Australia Day Council, is an outspoken mental health advocate and has forged a successful corporate career.

And yet, on Friday, Mr Roberts-Smith had to go to the Federal Court to lodge a defamation lawsuit against Fairfax Media and a ‘hatchet job’ smear campaign aiming to undermine his reputation, The Australian reports. 

Australia’s most highly-decorated soldier, Ben Roberts-Smith, (pictured) has kicked back against allegations of bullying, war crimes and domestic violence

The 39-year-old Perth native was in 2010 awarded the commonwealth's highest bravery honour, the Victoria Cross

The 39-year-old Perth native was in 2010 awarded the commonwealth’s highest bravery honour, the Victoria Cross

‘The [Fairfax] article contains a catalogue of lies, fabrications and misrepresentations,’ Mr Roberts-Smith declared, in response to a damning story published by The Sydney Morning Herald.

‘It is the culmination of many months of malicious and highly damaging allegations, all of which will be vigorously defended.’

The allegations included suggestion that a domestic violence complaint had been made against the war veteran following a function in Canberra’s Parliament House in 2016. 

He was further accused of being in an extra-marital affair with the woman who reportedly made the complaint.  

He was also accused of misconduct on the battle field.

Daily Mail Australia in no way suggests that any of the allegations made against Ben Roberts-Smith are true. 

Four years earlier Mr Roberts-Smith received the Medal of Gallantry for his courage during a battle in Afghanistan

Four years earlier Mr Roberts-Smith received the Medal of Gallantry for his courage during a battle in Afghanistan

He has previously been named Father of the Year, was appointed chairman of the Australia Day Council and is an outspoken mental health advocate (pictured, right, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull)

He has previously been named Father of the Year, was appointed chairman of the Australia Day Council and is an outspoken mental health advocate (pictured, right, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull)

And yet, on Friday, Mr Roberts-Smith went to the Federal Court to lodge a defamation lawsuit against Fairfax Media, in light of what he calls a 'hatchet job' smear campaign aiming to undermine his reputation

And yet, on Friday, Mr Roberts-Smith went to the Federal Court to lodge a defamation lawsuit against Fairfax Media, in light of what he calls a ‘hatchet job’ smear campaign aiming to undermine his reputation

‘I do want to say today that I unequivocally deny any physical abuse of any woman at any time ever, and that I have not at any stage been interviewed by police about any purported complaint by any woman,’ he said. 

The accusations levelled against Mr Roberts-Smith hold particular weight as the Inspector General of the Australian Defence Force (IGADF) nears the end of his two-year investigation into alleged war crimes by Australia’s Special Forces. 

‘I am deeply troubled that alleged evidence given on oath before the IGADF inquiry has been canvassed in the press and that Fairfax has allegedly accessed it,’ Mr Roberts-Smith said.

‘Not only is it illegal, it is unfair to people who haven’t given evidence and it has the potential to undermine the fairness of the inquiry.

‘If and when I am given the opportunity to defend each specific allegation, I am very confident that direct witnesses will categorically demonstrate the falsity of them all.’ 

Mr Roberts-Smith says he is yet to be interviewed by the IGADF.  

Mr Roberts-Smith called referred to an article published by Fairfax as 'the culmination of many months of malicious and highly damaging allegations, all of which will be vigorously defended.'

Mr Roberts-Smith called referred to an article published by Fairfax as ‘the culmination of many months of malicious and highly damaging allegations, all of which will be vigorously defended.’

The accusations levelled against Mr Roberts-Smith hold particular weight as the Inspector General of the Australian Defence Force nears the end of his two-year investigation into alleged war crimes by Australia's Special Forces

The accusations levelled against Mr Roberts-Smith hold particular weight as the Inspector General of the Australian Defence Force nears the end of his two-year investigation into alleged war crimes by Australia’s Special Forces

 'If and when I am given the opportunity to defend each specific allegation, I am very confident that direct witnesses will categorically demonstrate the falsity of them all' Mr Roberts-Smith said

 ‘If and when I am given the opportunity to defend each specific allegation, I am very confident that direct witnesses will categorically demonstrate the falsity of them all’ Mr Roberts-Smith said

In an interview with The Weekend Australian, the Perth-native spoke of the ‘devastating’ impact the mounting reports and rumours of misconduct have had on him – and expressed bafflement at the apparent character assassination against him.

‘What’s the next lie that’s going to run in the paper?’ he said. 

‘I’m not a politician, I’m not famous. I went and fought for my country, and I’m being attacked because I fought for my country and I got a medal. 

‘I just don’t understand how I today am sitting here in this position. I really don’t.’ 

'I just don't understand how I today am sitting here in this position,' he said. 'I really don't.'

‘I just don’t understand how I today am sitting here in this position,’ he said. ‘I really don’t.’

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